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In the UK, the Telegraph has an interview with Tim Mason, the former CEO of Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, who says that the western US chain could have been successful and that he would have liked to have had more time to make it so.

According to the story, Mason says he "understood the reasons why Tesco decided to pull out a year ago, a decision which lead to him leaving the business after 30 years.
But he hit back at criticism of the Fresh & Easy chain he began setting up in 2006, which eventually cost Tesco £1.5 billion and is now being run by billionaire investor Ron Burkle."

Mason says, " "Fresh & Easy was a great idea, and people who worked there, and the customers who went there, loved it. In different economic circumstances I'm very sure it could have been a success. Yes, I would have liked more time...but I couldn't have expected longer given the global circumstances that Tesco found itself in."

Indeed, Mason argues that the problem was circumstances rather than implementation, noting that he had a strong record before moving to the US to launch Fresh & Easy: ""The guy that did Clubcard, that did Tesco Express,, Tesco Personal Finance, he was the same one who did Fresh & Easy … Either I was very lucky for 20 years and got found out or something else happened."
KC's View:
I won't argue with Tim Mason's past achievements. He's obviously an accomplished, savvy guy.

But … his comments remind me of the football coach who says things like, "If we'd just had two more minutes, we would've won the game."

The thing is, he didn't have two more minutes. And Mason had plenty of time to make Fresh & Easy work. Part of leadership is knowing when to change directions, to adjust to changing circumstances. At Fresh & Easy, he didn't pass that test. Doesn't mean that he didn't pass the test in years gone by, or that he won't pass the test in his next venture.

But let's not kid ourselves.